TORONTO, Ontario—Longtime Ontario family lawyer Russell Alexander’s latest book coming out later this spring will give advice to couples going through a so-called “Zoom divorce,” in which lawyer meetings and legal hearings are held mostly through videoconferencing.
Alexander, author of two Amazon bestsellers “The Path to a Successful Divorce” and “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Divorce,” said the book would help couples struggling with changes to the legal system during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Because courtrooms were shut down during the pandemic, a lot of couples ended up having most of their interactions with lawyers and judges through videoconferencing,” he said. “I decided to write this book to help guide people through this very new process.”
Founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers, Alexander said his book — titled “The Zoom Divorce” — will discuss “the good, the bad and the ugly” of Zoom divorces.
On the positive side, he said they can be much less expensive and allow couples to take care of legal matters from the comfort of their own home. Also, the justice system has been streamlined with Zoom divorce and electronic filing, which means less paper, no commuting or parking, no court security, and busy dockets, and no more waiting in the hallways of an overcrowded courthouse.
On the negative side, people without access to technology can be left behind, and some couples find it more difficult to settle when negotiating online. And in a few unfortunate cases, he’s seen some people use videoconferencing to attempt to intimidate witnesses off-screen.
“Judicial videoconferencing is here to stay, although many divorces may take place in more of a hybrid of online and in-person hearings,” he added. “If you’re considering a divorce, you need to understand how this will affect your case and how best to approach it.”